Governor Rick Snyder, according to Detroit Free Press, has declared a water emergency for Flint, Michigan [Genesee County] due to “the harmful effects of untreated water that struck the city’s water infrastructure”, putting the city in crisis over the contaminated water source.
Snyder said the damaged water infrastructure caused leaching of lead into the water and damage to the water system. This, he said, “has either caused or threatened to cause elevated blood lead levels, especially in the population of children and pregnant women,” creating “a potential immediate threat to public health and safety.”
Snyder says he is doing everything possible to make fresh, safe water available for all of the residents of Flint and assures that “Working in full partnership with the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, all levels of government and water quality experts, we will find both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure the health and safety of Flint residents,” it is imperative and everyone is helping.
In a direct action to make an immediate difference in the situation, Michigan State Police troopers and other state officials have mapped out a plan for a door-to-door sweep of Flint on Tuesday, reports Detroit Free Press, where they will hand out bottled water and water filters to as many people as possible. If people are not home, they will leave a note directing citizens on where to go to obtain clean, free water at fire stations throughout the city.
According to an official report on Flint’s drinking water, Michigan Radio states that an unknown number of children were poisoned when the emergency manager switched Flint’s water supply source from Lake Huron, supplied by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, to the more polluted and corrosive Flint River, all for the sake of saving money. The state now reports that efforts to remedy the damage could cost upwards of $1.5 billion; a lot more than it would have cost to continue to use Lake Huron as its primary water source.
White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough appeared on Meet the Press this past Sunday. When host Chuck Todd inquired about the White Houses’ concern, he replied, “”Well, obviously very concerned about it, but I don’t have any news to make with you on that today, Chuck.” Todd asked about FEMA intervening, and McDonough answered, “We’re watching it closely, but nobody has asked us anything yet,” he explained.
There is criticism that the governor’s office is not taking the problem seriously enough. FEMA has sent liaisons to the state’s emergency cooperation center which was set up for the state of emergency on January 5.
The governor’s office says all efforts are being taken.
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